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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

Lt. Governor Guadagno Issues Final Decision on Senator Cruz Challenge

Senator Cruz to Appear on June 7th New Jersey Republican Presidential Primary Ballot


TRENTON, N.J. – On March 28, 2016, two parties filed challenges to the nomination petition of Senator Ted Cruz for the June 7, 2016 New Jersey Republican presidential primary election: Victor Williams and a group calling itself the South Jersey Concerned Citizens Committee. Both challenges were transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) as “contested cases” on April 4, 2016, to be heard on Monday, April 11, 2016 at the OAL’s office in Hamilton, New Jersey. Because both challenges argued that Senator Cruz failed to satisfy Article 2, Section 1 of the US Constitution, which requires one to be a “natural born Citizen” to serve as President, Administrative Law Judge Jeff S. Masin (“ALJ”) consolidated the challenges.

At the consolidated hearing, Senator Cruz’s counsel argued that the objectors lacked standing and that this is a non-justiciable question, thereby preventing the Secretary of State from considering or determining the validity of the objections. The objectors argued that Senator Cruz is not a “natural born Citizen” because he was born outside the United States in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In his April 12, 2016 initial decision, ALJ Masin rejected Senator Cruz’s standing and non-justiciability arguments, but went on to agree that Senator Cruz is a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution and that he is eligible to be nominated for the Presidency by nomination petition for the June 7, 2016 Republican Presidential primary election.

“After full consideration of the record, as well as Judge Masin's thorough and well researched initial decision and the exceptions filed with my office, I, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, as Secretary of State and chief election official of the State of New Jersey, adopt Judge Masin's initial decision in its entirety,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.

The ALJ’s initial decision was served electronically on the parties at approximately 5:36 p.m. on April 12, 2016. Exceptions to the ALJ’s initial decision were received from both objectors. The initial and final decisions are available below:


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